Life On Earth (Music From The 1979 BBC TV Series)
9 These days Sir Lord Attenborough may have the co-operation of the US Air Force and sixty bajillion dollars worth of camera equipment trained at a snow drift in Antarctica right now on the off chance that a silver eyebrowed Arctic marsupial might yawn. What he doesn’t have is Edward Williams unique music to soundtrack it. Williams fed his orchestral movements through early synthesisers to create unique and haunting pieces with names like “The Sex Life Of The Fern”. They are available here for the first time thanks to everyone’s favourite curate of lost classics Jonny Trunk. In a just world Jonny would be a “sir” too.
7 Anyone would have thought that hanging out with David Tibet as a fully paid up member of Current 93 would leave you moping around weeping blackened tears under a cold, full moon. Not Keith Wood though. His second album for EcstatiscPeace! as Hush Arbors finds him hooking up with J Mascis and rolling through a hazy, warm and decidedly mellow approximation of somewhere between Laurel Canyon and that bayou that Creedence were always banging on about.
2 Todd make chunky, riffy metal for people who say they like the Melvins but don’t know who Joe Preston is. Which is a bit like buying a Misfits shirt in Urban Outfitters. There is nothing awful about this. There’s just nothing good about it either.
9 Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Om, Sleep, Neurosis, The Melvins. Collectively the four people in this band have played in all of those things. Yep, you get the picture: it’s the stoner rock Travelling Willburys! Except that instead of being an excuse to get away from the missus and have a bifta or two under the pretence of ‘writing some songs in George Harrison’s garage’ this is has turned out to be just about as good as anything that Dale Crover, Wino, Al Cisneros or Scott Kelly have played on so far. Seriously.
Molina & Johnson
Molina & Johnson
7 Hardly the Morecombe & Wise of alt-folk, this not-so-merry merger of the guy with the voice like a lifetime’s worth of broken hearts from Magnolia Electric Co. and the fella who sounds like he’s about to do an Eliot Smith from South San Gabriel was never going to be a barrel of laughs. But, when you’re singing songs called things like “All Gone, All Gone” Jason and Willy are basically the A-Team.
Upset The Rhythm
8 It’s a shame that there are no high street record shops left because this has a picture of a guy with his dick out stabbing someone in a hajib with a missile on the cover. Fifteen years ago that combination would have got you banned from Our Price at the very least which might just have generated enough press for a few people to actually hear this wholly unhinged and chaotically great album.
7 Ignore this album’s title. It conjures sub-Progidy early 90s big-beat rave music you’d hear on a free covermount Max Power CD. Fortunately Saviours pedal thick-necked, doom metal that they are probably listening to in the Cro-Bar right now.
5 Fives are a pretty unacceptable score. They are a cop out. A five means that the guy reviewing the record has no real opinion on the thing he’s supposed to be writing about and is just going to sit right there on that fence. Well, for once I’m slapping down a five where a five is due. Like a noise-rock Marmite, if you love Lightning Bolt and think that they redefined the boundaries of rock music then you will of course think this is the best thing since bread full stop and give it ten out of ten and a gold star before whacking it at the top of every year end list you get within 100 paces of. If however you think they are a pair of art-school drop outs who randomly smash their drums and play annoying high pitched bass figures on repeat forever then you’ll think it’s as two dimensional as ever.
8 Howdy! Here’s twelve cuts of rock & roll like they used to make it back when people made things and didn’t get them from China or the internet. Dead Weather and Queens Of The Stone Age guy Dean Fertita has even managed to rope fellow Detroit maven Brendan Benson as well half of the Queens lineup and Michael Horrigan from the Afghan Whigs in for the ride to boot.
You Are The One I Pick
8 You know those adverts for Centre Parcs that make it seem like there will be Nordic hot springs in the middle of the middle of a verdant, green forest in a place of total calm and isolation when you get there? Well, I’ve been to Centre Parcs and it’s nothing like that but if I’d had this album during the three hellish days I spent there I could have at least closed my eyes and pretended I was in that place for a few brief moments.
King Khan & BBQ Show
In The Red
8 The hardest working kook in garage rock hooks back up with Mark Sultan for another round of fuzz, soul and endless innuendo. It is probably not possible for music to be any more fun than this without spontaneously combusting like when you put a Capri-Sun in the microwave.